Sony Could Have Reorganized its First Party Studios in 2008, But Shuhei Yoshida Saved Them (UPDATED)

on April 13, 2014 4:22 PM

On Thursday Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida and PS4 Lead Architect Mark Cerny spoke at a conference titled “Game Changers: Sony Computer Entertainment’s Shuhei Yoshida in Conversation with Mark Cerny” at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

During the conversation, reported by Engadget, a rather interesting element was disclosed by Yoshida-san: after Phil Harrison’s departure from Sony in 2008, he felt threatened by internal debate in the company, questioning the need for the existence of SCE’s first party Worldwide Studios.

Yoshida-san didn’t stand idle, and pitched his candidacy as President of the Worldwide Studios to the newly appointed CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Kaz Hirai. Hirai-san agreed, and under Yoshida-san’s leadership the teams were kept going.

That’s definitely what you’d call a turning point in the history of video games. The closure or sale of some the Worldwide Studios would have probably meant that many fan favorite games released in the past few years would have never seen the light, at least in their current form.

While we don’t know which Studios were in danger, or to what point the organizational integrity of the WWS was threatened, it’s definitely a good thing that Yoshida-san stepped in, and looking at the results, Hirai-san definitely selected the right man for the job.

Update: Shuhei Yoshida clarified on Twitter that his original statements were “a bit misinterpreted,” and not all the studios would have been closed:

it was a bit misinterpreted, no one would have shut down all studios, but thanks 🙂

thanks for the article, but my comment was about the organizational set up, not about not needing 1st party or like that

The original story has been updated to reflect Yoshida-san’s clarification.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.